The main cause of snoring is the partial closure of the airway during sleep. As we sleep, muscles in the neck relax. For some people, the soft tissue in the upper throat vibrates – causing the sound we know as snoring. Some snorers also stop breathing – a medical condition known as sleep apnoea. This occurs when the airway is closed completely during sleep, preventing snorers from breathing. A sleep study is the only way to diagnose obstructive sleep apnoea.
Snorers are often made to feel guilty about their condition. However, the causes of snoring are often beyond a person’s control. Certain factors increase the chances of snoring:
Snoring is more than a loud noise. It leads to broken sleep for snorers and their partner. This can have a profound impact on the quality of a person’s life, and may lead to embarrassing situations and stressed relationships. Further, snoring is associated with medical complications. Left untreated, snorers have the potential to develop obstructive sleep apnoea.
Studies have shown that the lack of sleep caused by snoring has wide-reaching effects. This includes: